Who has control over our lands?

Hard Pressed

Here we go again.

For the past three years or so the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area has been the arena of discontent. People got up-in-arms when TFL 25 was released from Western Forest Products logging lands and was subsequently allowed to be sold for its real estate values. This was wrong in many ways, no question about that, but the government refused to change their decision. People were upset, they waved placards and decried the decision and they are still doing so. But this time the target is a developer.

The developer bought the property in question when the TFL lands were legally up for sale. Although there are some who think the land sale was illegal because they did not agree with the Ministry of Forest’s decision to allow it to be sold. In any case, the land was and is private land. It is not Crown land and it is not park land. Private land is also not on the table in the current and ongoing treaty negotiations. The premise is and always has been that Crown land is on the treaty table, not private land. While many will disagree with the acquisition of those forest company lands, you cannot go back and rearrange things the way you would like them to be. If we were to do that, we really wouldn’t have any claim to hardly any land. The sins of the fathers are history. We can’t change it because we now think differently. That is the way business was done in the past. We can learn from our mistakes but we can’t undo them.

What we have now are a number of lobbying groups who are responsible for much of the activism. The Dogwood Initiative has been funded by an American non-profit organization, the U.S. Tides Foundation through the Wilburforce Foundation since 2002. The initial, stated purpose of the funds was “to develop a conservation-based legal and policy framework to devolve control over land in BC’s central coast to First Nations and communities in the interest of long-term habitat protection.”

The important statement here is, “to devolve control over land in BC’s central coast… ”

The U.S. Tides Foundation has assets of over $286 million and they fund other lobbying groups such as the Sierra Club of B.C., Rainforest Action Network, Environmental Law & Policy Centre, Sierra Club of Canada, Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society and others.

The Dogwood Initiative has paid positions within its organization and actively recruits volunteer and paid activists.

Their side: “Our organization, Dogwood Initiative, helps British Columbians exercise local control over resources, and to realize the power of their own democratic muscle. We work with our community of supporters – over 75,000 strong, from all political persuasions and walks of life – to effect change on the issues we care about.”

Who controls our resources and who controls what we care about?

Why the Dogwood Initiative was one of the referral agencies asked for comment is beyond me. They are not a government body or a servicing agency. They are an U.S.-funded lobby group.

I realize it is important to hear all sides, but this particular group has an obvious purpose and that is to oppose and organize resistance to anything they disagree with. They are rude and disrespectful and intimidate others. They rely heavily on youthful idealism. They organize car loads of people to come to meetings to pump up the numbers of those in opposition and they appear to organize and control letter writing campaigns.

The question has to be asked:

Why is a U.S.-funded organization so interested in what we do with our land up here? What’s the ulterior motive?

 

Pirjo Raits is the editor of the Sooke News Mirror.

editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Just Posted

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
EDITORIAL: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

Victoria police retrieved a number of stolen items May 15 after arresting a man and woman squatting in an empty building. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police look to return stolen items following arrest of squatters

Golf clubs, power tools, jackets, cell phones and a MacBook Pro were retrieved

The Victoria International Airport saw its revenues plummet in 2020. Officials hope a proposed warehouse will be a significant revenue generator. (Black Press Media file photo)
Head of Victoria Airport Authority makes economic pitch for Sidney warehouse project

Geoff Dickson said Sidney stands to earn $325,000 in annual taxes

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Most Read